During a two-day inception workshop conducted on 14th and 15th April organized by FAO, stakeholders finalized a work plan that will determine the way forward in the implementation of the EU funded project ‘’ Capacity Building Related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements in ACP Countries – Phase III (ACP MEAs 3)’’.
The workshop was introduced by Assistant FAO Representative and the EU Delegation to Tanzania to key stakeholders from selected Ministries and departments, research institutions, academia, private sector, farmers association, CBOs and NGOs, who will be involved in the project activities.
Assistant FAO representative, Mr. Charles Tulahi introduced ACP MEAs 3, ‘’in its third phase, the programme will continue to improve the management of pesticides applied in agricultural production. It will support countries, including Tanzania, to develop an institutional and policy environment conducive to the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity in agriculture. ACP MEAs 3 will also facilitate the transition to more sustainable, resilient and productive systems by promoting the application of ecologically sustainable practices and approaches.’’
A summary of the project results to date was given by the EU representative, Ms. Anna Costantini ‘’During the previous two phases, the programme strengthened the institutionalization of Multilateral Environmental Agreements at national and regional levels by enhancing capacities of national bodies and regional institutions and fostering collaboration between them. As a major result, ACP MEAs contributed to reducing the risks of pesticides to human health and the environment, promoting environmental sustainability in agriculture and slowing down biodiversity loss in ACP countries.’’
The aim of the workshop was to fine- tune activities, indicators and the implementation for the next three years (2021-2023) in line with the country context. During group discussions, the participants determined synergies and complementarities with other ongoing projects in the country and in the region.
Groups discussed how to integrate agrobiodiversity with a focus on mixed farming systems, sustainable pesticide management and highly hazardous pesticide risk reduction and agroforestry.
The participants agreed that, the ACP MEAs 3 should be active in the following areas: Eastern Zone – Morogoro and Dar es Salaam; Southern Highlands – Iringa and Mbeya; Northern Regions – Arusha and Kilimanjaro.
Participants observed that, the project will help to improve agricultural production systems (crop/livestock/aquaculture) and agroforestry, and consolidate progress made in its previous phase in assisting the country in mitigating environmental and social risks associated with the use of highly hazardous pesticides.
Tanzania’s food and agriculture biodiversity is threatened by an increasing population, (projected to increase to 59.8 million by 2025) which in turn leads to overexploitation, pollution, increased use of chemical pesticides and genetic erosion of crops, livestock, trees and fish. Therefore, the need to use and conserve biodiversity for food and agriculture on a sustainable basis cannot be over-emphasized. Restoring and protecting Tanzania’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity requires good understanding and knowledge of the resource base and capacity to do so.
In order to tackle these challenges, FAO, in partnership with the European Union, provides support to promote environmental sustainability by strengthening environmental governance and implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The target MEAs are the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS) and indirectly the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).